The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that it is illegal for residents of the state to reject the old N500 and N1000 notes.
According to the state governor, this is in line with the March 3 judgment of the supreme court where it was stated that the old naira notes remain legal tenders until December 31, 2023.
Recall that the judgment was a result of a suit filed by 16 states in the country, including Lagos, challenging the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the apex court. Despite the apex bank’s judgment, many businesses as well as banks have refused to ask for the old note.
Many traders and commercial bus drivers have refused to accept the old notes, making life unbearable for many Nigerians.
In a statement issued on Monday, March 13, by Gbenga Omotoso, the state Commissioner for Information, Governor Sanwo-Olu advised all agencies of the state government not to reject payments made with the old currency.
“The Lagos state government has noted the hardship sparked by the naira redesign policy, which has affected business and commercial activities. There is no reason to reject the old notes, going by the supreme court judgment delivered on March 3, 2023.
The apex court declared that no reasonable notice was given as required by section 20(3) of the CBN act, noting that the public only became aware of the policy through press remarks, which cannot qualify as a notice to the public.
The court maintained that the policy has impeded the functions of state governments, pointing out that the directive that stops the use of the old notes is illegal, unconstitutional, null, and void.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has, therefore, called on business owners, especially retailers, to accept the old N500 and N1,000 notes – in line with the supreme court judgment that the currency remains legal tender until December 31, 2023. It is illegal to reject the notes,” the statement read.
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